World Marathon Majors - a 6 star quest

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4 Mar
10:37am, 4 Mar 2024
3,299 posts
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One tip would be to get a Suica travel card for transport in Tokyo and other cities. I am sure it’s there on android too, but on iPhone you can set one up in advance in the travel section of the Wallet (although that unfortunately didn’t work for me as my bank didn’t support it for some reason). So instead, the first thing I did after airport security was to get one and load it with Yen. It’s valid on metro and bus, and also some shops, vending machines for food etc. You can top it up but only (strangely?) with cash. We’ve used it a large amount. We put 3000 Yen on it at the airport and have just put an extra 1000 on (1000 yen is approximately £5 at the moment). It’s one card per person - cards can’t be shared. No refunds if money is left on there, and they’re valid for a month.

We were initially flummoxed by the metro system on arrival, and we are usually pretty good at working this stuff out (in fairness, we were knackered!). But, once you realise the stations are numbered, it’s ok. If you know what station number you’re at, you can find which station number you want to go to, and then it’s easy to find the correct platform going in the right direction. It’s crazy how clean the stations, trains, loos and everything is here. Spotless.

Sounds crazy to even mention McDonald’s I know, and I usually wouldn’t! But I had a voucher for one with the race so thought I’d may as well use it and their menu is very different to U.K. I picked up a teriyaki chicken burger, which was actually very nice! If you want to get things like fruit, milk or supplies there are Seven Eleven, Family Mart, but we have found Lawson to be the best, and that is where I got supplies for breakfast before the marathon.

If you want mobile data, I think probably an eSIM is the most convenient. My phone doesn’t support eSIM though. You can sort data at the airport either with a SIM or mobile WiFi, but we got a Mobal sim delivered in U.K. and we can both use that with a hotspot. We’ve found it a must really to easily work out how to get around.

There is a tourist JR Pass for rail travel between cities and other areas but, for us, it didn’t work out to be cost effective for our rough plan. I understand cost of the JR Pass went up considerably last October, but it may work for you.

I think there are about 6 parkruns scattered around Tokyo, plus others elsewhere. I had plans to do one the day before the race (I’m somewhat of a parkrun tourist) but decided against it due to my foot, but hoping to jog around one near Kyoto.

If I find anything else along the way I’ll update here :)
9 Mar
8:37am, 9 Mar 2024
1,069 posts
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Well done on the 5th star Big_G. Shame about the pf but sounds like you ran it well in spite of. Hope you enjoy the rest of the trip. With you on the McDs, I had some sort of spicy prawn burger, wouldn't normally but it is different out there.
19 Mar
7:06am, 19 Mar 2024
3,316 posts
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Anyone trying for NYC via non-NYRR qualifying? Seems likes it is quite tough for 2024 and I’ve seen mention of some people in their age category being 30mins under and not getting in.

“The Non-NYRR Time Qualifier application closed on March 6, and the selected runners have been notified. As the number of applications exceeded the number of spots available, the fastest 19% within each age and gender category were granted entry. Those not selected will be moved to the non-guaranteed general entry drawing, which takes place on March 28, for an additional chance to be selected”.
19 Mar
11:09am, 19 Mar 2024
15 posts
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I tried (and failed) to get in Big_G. My marathon time was only 18 minutes under so I used a half time which came out as the equivalent of just over 30 minutes under converted to a marathon using their formula. I'd only done the one half last year on a hilly course on a hot day so it wasn't the fastest. Anyone with a decent half time was at a big advantage over anyone with only a marathon time. Next year it's marathon times only so will be interesting to see what sort of cut off they have then.
20 Mar
12:41am, 20 Mar 2024
3,317 posts
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That’s a shame Elinem. There is a lot of chat over on Reddit and also on the Majors Facebook group. I have seen some 60yo old women with over 30mins inside their qualifying time not getting in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a breakdown of Half vs Full numbers/qualifiers, but I was also wondering if the removal of the Half qualifiers will change things at all for next year. As a matter of interest, do we actually know how many non-NYRR qualification places there are?
20 Mar
9:29am, 20 Mar 2024
16 posts
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There's been so much bitching on some of the groups about people getting in with half times, but obviously you would use one if it gives you a better chance of a place. They've said they're not going to announce the cut off times for each age category, or how many non-NYRR places there were either.
It's the first time I've applied, if I don't get in through the ballot I'll likely just do Abingdon and try again next year

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About This Thread

Maintained by DeeGee
All things relating to any or all of the 6 World Marathon Majors.
Last 6 majors, Wall Of fame:

-Boston: 17 April 2023, (Big_G: 3:41:36, Maccathecracker)
-London: 23 April 2023 (Big_G: 4:06, Maccathecracker, mattglen_: 05:01:14).
-Berlin: 24 September 2023. (Maccathecracker)
-Chicago: 08 Oct 2023. (Big_G: 3:52; Foxy)
-New York City: 05 November 2023 (DeeGee, Rossco Peeko, Maccathecracker.)

-Tokyo: 03 Mar 2024 (Big_G: 3:58:40)


Boston: Mon 15 Apr 2024. Qualifying Window from 1 Sep 2022 until Sep 2023. No ballot. Time qualifiers, tour operators and charity only. 2024 race cutoff 5:29.
London: Sun Apr 21, 2024. Ballot odds 4-6%. Ballot closed. Ballot results known. Charity entries still available.
Berlin: Ballot window, 28th Sep-16 Nov. Odds have been about 3:1 in the past for this.
Chicago: Sunday October 13 2024, Ballot opens Tuesday, Oct 17, 2023 for 4 weeks.
NYC: Ballot open now.

****** - JenLove, KeithL, Becca7, Ian5, Foxy [Congrats all!]
***** Big_G
**** - Mrs Jigs, Jigs
*** - Trin, DeeGee
** - jabberknit, Rog T, Maccathecracker,

* -

Packages with guaranteed entry:

Related Threads

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  • boston
  • chicago
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  • london
  • majors
  • marathon
  • newyork
  • tokyo
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